Winding Walks

               Around us the quietude of heritage forest,
maze of trails, crowded he-heather, juniper,
               cloudberry, scots pine, gnarled and lasting,

               trunks wide as centuries, waymarking
the interior where capercaillie fantail
               black sunrises. We walk shapeshifting

               in our flimsy shoes, my Scottish
husband telling me tales of painted people,
               aboriginal to the wilderness,

               stacking their stones, steles left standing.
The resin is resonant of design in the rich, herbaceous
               understory, retold by tattoos on his forearms—

               mirror and comb, double-disc—spiraling pattern
to his thicker neck, comprehending blue and barbarian.
               We arrive at an outlook of carved pavilion—

               latticed wood, railing of logs splintering—
and see across the dance, valley to the mouth
               of a sea-bound river, his landscape of longing.

Tori Grant Welhouse is a poet-writer from Green Bay, Wisconsin. Her most recent poetry chapbook Vaginas Need Air won Etching Press’s 2020 chapbook contest. Her YA paranormal fantasy The Fergus won Skyrocket Press’s 2019 novel-writing contest. Both are available on Amazon and at indie bookseller Lion’s Mouth Bookstore. Tori is an active volunteer with Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets.